When you’re working with your God-given skills, all work can be an act of worship. Not knowing that truth makes you susceptible to the “Work Is Secular” infection.
The “Work Is Secular” infection
What are the symptoms?
Viewing the other 166 hours of your week are second class compared to 2-4 hours of church stuff.
Viewing work hours as an interruption to “real ministry.”
Viewing work as lacking purpose except to earn income to support the ministry at church.
Viewing work as something to endure until you can one day do something meaningful (like when you retire and go on the mission field).
Regarding day to day life, even in secular organizations or industries, there is no “sacred/secular” division in a Christian’s life. Jesus Christ is living his life in you and through you 24/7.
Your time in the weekly worship service, Bible Study, or small group should be your preparation and the stimulus to launch you out into the world—which includes the marketplace—to take the hope of Jesus with you.
Work is an act of worship, not a curse.
“Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving.” (Colossians 3:23-24)
When you are working in an office or on the factory floor, you are serving Jesus Christ with your work.
Your workplace (be it home, office, factory floor, school room, or road construction) is your mission field.
Your work environment is where you must intentionally practice letting Jesus live His life through you—in difficult situations, with challenging people, and with integrity honoring the Lord Jesus.
Truth to counter the “Work Is Secular” infection
Truth #1: Work is God’s idea. God created work in the beginning before sin’s corruption made it a lot harder to do. Jesus came along to renew us and restore our approach to work as He lives in us and through us. We are free to work for God’s glory now.
Truth #2: Work is an avenue for accomplishing God’s mission. We are Jesus’ ambassadors at work—in the conference room, on the factory floor, at the lunch break, on the playground, and in the kitchen. Work is your mission field and your platform to let Christ live His life through you.
Truth #3: Work is the place where God grows us into maturity. The Spirit of God uses our relationships, successes, failures, and experiences at work as tools in our spiritual growth.
Truth #4: Work has purpose beyond ourselves. God designed work for the good of the world—not just for ourselves. Our work impacts the people in our work environment, our clients, and our managers. We can taste the goodness of God intended for work in the beginning.
Truth #5: Work is where we practice depending on Jesus more than on ourselves. Jesus is Lord over our work. Work is worship, and we glorify Him as we do our jobs well. Colossians 3:17
But how do we do this?
How do you live out your faith in your workplace? You do that by being the person described in Colossians 3:12-17. Recognizing Jesus Christ as Lord of your life and your behavior. Letting him live his life through you to invite others around you to want to know him. Ask Jesus to help you do that and trust him to work in you and through you.
What is legal to do at work? Go to org to find out what is legal for a Christian to do in any workplace. You might be surprised by what you can legally do to live out your faith in the marketplace.
How do you invest in your co-workers without stealing time from your employer? You use whatever break time or interaction opportunities you have available to get to know your co-workers and minister to them. Ask Jesus to help you be creative and caring. [My blog Faith in the Workplace can also give you some ideas.]
What if you hate what you do for work? That’s where you submit yourself to Jesus Christ as Lord over you and even over that job. Let him teach you how to be thankful for that work or lead you to something else. Whatever He brings into your life that makes you more dependent upon Him is good for you. Work is a great environment to learn that.
A spiritual infection takes you captive to something other than Christ. The “Work Is Secular” infection is bad. Knowing the truth that work is worship and not a curse gives you an immune system that counters this spiritual infection.
Let Jesus satisfy your heart needs with His truth and His love so you can get well and stay well.